Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Faith of Greater Worth than Gold



"In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  Those have come so that your faith - of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire- may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
1 Peter 1:6-7

This passage of scripture was written by Peter as a reminder to the Christians to focus on God and his eternal plans.  They were undergoing opposition, oppression and persecution for their beliefs.  They were experiencing trials, grief and suffering.  Their focus had moved from Christ to their current circumstances. It was in the midst of these fiery trials that these believers were struggling with their faith.

Many today are undergoing trials.  They seem hard and difficult.  It seems as if they are beyond measure, never ceasing.  It is as if we are praying and persisting in prayer and the answers are pending.  Luke 18:1-8 we are reminded of a widow who was seeking justice against her adversary.  She was before the judge and he ignored her, but she kept bugging him until she wore him out.  Finally the unjust judge granted her the request for justice.  God reminds us that "and will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out day and night?  Will he keep putting them off?  Jesus answers by saying, "I tell you, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"  The question he poses is that during time when you are looking for justice in your circumstances, seeking relief from the problem will your faith remain strong?  Will you remain in faith in the midst of the trial, the pain, the suffering, the bad things happening around you and to you?  Do you trust in God to believe that he will bring justice on your behalf and deliver you?

When fiery trials come, they come to show us where we have bullet holes in your armor. They show us our weaknesses and areas where we do not trust in God.  It is an area where we need to surrender all to God.  
God is the author and finisher of our faith.  He is working out our salvation during these trials.  He is building us up in the most holy faith.  It is one that will never fade or perish.  It is one that is refined and purposeful.  It is worth more than gold.  This faith is one that produces perseverance character and hope.  It is one that does not disappoint us.  It is one that proves that God is love (Romans 5:3-5 my paraphrase).  Jesus is revealed through these trials and through it all it will bring us to a point of knowing our faith is genuine and that we can truly praise God and give all glory and honor to him.  

So though now you have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials today, may the Lord rise forth that faith that is of greater worth than gold today in your heart.  May you not grow weary in doing good, but in due season reap a harvest unto the glory of God.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Love Never Fails


"Love never fails.....And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love."
I Corinthians 13:8a, 13:13

I love people and I love being around them.  Today as I was out, I had the opportunity to talk to several people.  I was happy to see all of them.  Some said hi.  Others we engaged in small talk.  Others the conversation grew as we shared life situations.  One person lost a loved one in their family.  Another person shared that they lost a young woman last week tragically.  Another shared how they are still actively working on reconciliation with the battles that were before them.  Another seeking to find herself after being in an unhealthy relationship.  Another weary from the heavy load of life.  All were in need of a renewed strength and hope.  

As I was listening to each story and hearing how each one desired a breakthrough or a different outcome.  How some things could not be changed because the outcome was final.  Their faith was being tried.  Unanswered prayers, disappointments, fears and delays.  The faith seemed to be running on e for empty.  I listened intently and began to quietly pray.  I too know what they have experienced.  I too am familiar with what they were going through.  As I stood next to them listening, I knew that the Lord brought me through my fiery trials to be able to relate and to show a greater compassion.  But more than that, there was this overwhelming love for each and every one of them that the Lord would restore, redeem, comfort, heal and bless them and that their faith would remain firm.   The desire was for them to rise up above their situations and be able to overcome, be comforted and to see God's goodness beyond what they had experienced.  I knew instinctively that God was doing a new work.  It was a work to bring that greater faith, a greater hope and a greater love.   

We are told that love "always protects, always trusts, always hopes and always perseveres."  God was doing a new work in their life. He was showing them who he is and that he can be trusted, that he brings hope and allows us to persevere through the circumstances. His perfect love is casting out all fear. "Love Never Fails."            

Monday, October 22, 2012

Thanksgiving


"In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  
1 Thessalonians 5:18


How you ever been in a situation where you are having a hard time being thankful?  Some people naturally see things as good.  The glass is always half full.  The sun is shining.  But to others, some of us have experienced such a hardship, endure abused and encountered rejection.  They look out the window and see only the bad things.   In our society today it promotes negativity.  It injects into our society.  We are told we are not skinny enough, you need to look younger, we need more stuff and wouldn't you like to be like your neighbor.  Our identity is coming from something other than God intended.  It is coming from the window of the world.  

Our world view is founded on belief systems and experiences.  God is in the business of changing our perspective.  He is into directing you to the window with a view of good things.  God is good and he is the giver of good gifts.  The devil is the one who tries to lie, steal and kill.  The goal of the enemy of our souls is to get you to believe that God is against you causing you these problems.  He is trying to get you to think you are not good enough and you have to do better. He is also trying to get you to believe that God is doing this to you. 

God on the other hand is the giver of good gifts.  He came to destroy the works of the devil.  He came to show you his goodness.  However, we cannot experience his goodness if we cannot really be thankful.  Thankfulness brings us into the presence of God (Psalm 100:4-5).  When you give thanks and praise God in the midst of your circumstances, the devil can't take it.  It brings glory to God, rises up faith in your heart and brings God's presence into your situation.  

God defeated Jericho through praise.  The Israelites marched around the city 7 times, blew the trumpets and gave a shout to the Lord and the walls came tumbling down (Joshua 6).  When we enter into thanksgiving, we enter into the gates of the most Holy Place, his presence.  It is a place that soothes your soul and restores us.  He tells us what the enemy meant for evil he will turn around for good, because God works everything for good to those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28)

We are to count our trials as joy.  What a tough way of looking at the situation especially when it seems dim.  God tells us without faith it is impossible to please God.  When we begin to thank God and remember how he sent his one and only son to die for us to give us eternal life.  We begin to see the power of God operate.  It is like a sweet fragrance arising into his throne room.  It is one saying, oh God you were right.  Your plan is the perfect plan and it is the best gift you could give me.  You sent your son to die for me that I may have eternal life and an inheritance in your kingdom.  It is all because of you and what you did.  

When we arrive at this destination, we know that God is God.  He is all knowing, with us, perfect, loving and good.  He is more than enough.  So today, may thanksgiving of God and his goodness arise as you remember what he has done for you.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Blessed to be a Blessing


"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written:  He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.  Now he who supplies see to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God."      2 Corinthians 9:8-11

Do you know if you are blessed to be a blessing?  Are you in lack and want?  Are you finding it difficult to make ends meet?  Paul was addressing the Corinthians and their generosity.  The Corinthians were doing what God desired.  They were giving an offering to Paul for the poor in Jerusalem.  The people in Jerusalem were suffering greatly in this trial. 

Paul knew that it was God's desire for believers to remember the poor and the widows in the body of Christ.  God knows that when you give to the poor and widows that this will result in thanksgiving to God.  

God has given us everything.  We are just stewards over our family, belongings and finances.  God desires for us to put God first and not serve money.  God tells us that we cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).  Paul goes on to say that those who sow sparingly reap sparingly and those that sow generously reap generously.  He also goes on to say "that each man should give not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver."  (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

When you give with a cheerful heart you will find that God's will make all grace abound to you so that you will have all that you need.  He will make you rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion.  God is not stingy.  God has made us his ambassadors in this world to represent him. We are his vessels of glory that he uses to show his goodness, kindness and generosity.  He wants us to give so that others may know about him and his goodness.  He also wants to show us that we can trust in him and his provision.  Giving is a clear indication if whether or not we trust God in what he is doing.  It is hard to give when money is tight or you don't have enough to pay your bills.  It is even harder when you begin to give and find out that you are still short in some instances.  However, as we move in the direction of being generous, then something begins to happen.  Our hearts are changed and our priorities change.  Do I suggest you ignore your bills and be irresponsible?  No, I do not.  I do believe God will provide a way out if you are faithful to give.  

The only way you can test God in any area of your life is through tithing.  In Malachi chapter 3:10 we read:
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much a blessing that you will not have enough room for it."

By giving God the first fruits of your income (10% of the gross before taxes), God promises that he will open the floodgates of heaven and poor out a blessing you cannot handle.  He will also prevent pests from devouring your crops.  What an awesome promise.  

Maybe you are saying, been there, done that and it didn't work.  All I can say is this, I know is faithful to take care of my needs.  Although it may not be the way I desire my situation to be, I am not without what I have need of.  He has provided more than I could imagine in my life.  He has taught me my strengths and weaknesses with money.  He has shown me my attitude about where my heart is.  If anything, I know that God will do as he promises.  He will pour out a blessing where I will not have enough room for it.  It is not only coming in the way of provision financially, but it is also physically, mentally and emotionally.  This work is greater than anyone could ever imagine.  Although the road has been tough for a few years, I know that I will see the fruit of from sowing into God's kingdom.

May God give you spiritual insight into this truth and may generosity arise in your hearts to give unto the glory of the Father, in the mighty name of Jesus!
Rain is Coming!  Are you ready?



Joel 2:23-27
Be glad then, you children of Zion,
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,[a]
And He will cause the rain to come down for you—
The former rain,
And the latter rain in the first month.
The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.
“So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust,
The consuming locust,
And the chewing locust,[b]
My great army which I sent among you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.
Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel:
am the Lord your God
And there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.
“And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions.
And also on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
“And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth:
Blood and fire and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.
For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance,
As the Lord has said,
Among the remnant whom the Lord calls.


Depressed?


As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.  "What are you arguing about?" he asked.  A man in the crowd answered, "Teacher, I brought my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground.  He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.  Mark 9:15-18

This father loved his child and saw his child suffer so much.  The child was not able to speak and was tormented day and night.  The father was desperate and depressed.  He did not know what to do.  It was tiring to witness this.  It happened many times during the day.  It consumed the father's time.  Finally, he mustered up the courage to go to Jesus' disciples to see if what others were saying were true.  Can my son be made whole?  Can he live a normal life?  He had spent years enduring this and was without hope.  

Jesus when seeing the boy asked the father, "How long has he been like this?"  The father sadly responded since childhood.  He went on to tell him that "it has oftened thrown him into the fire or water to kill him."  He pleaded with Jesus "can you do anything, take pity on us and help us." 

When you are without hope it brings in a darkness.  It brings in despair, depression, hopelessness, disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment.  Could you possibly imagine being under this oppression?  The father had endured many years of this suffering seeing his son in torment.  Will his son ever have a normal life?  Will he ever have a normal life again?  He was so distraught that he exclaimed to Jesus "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief."

Are you now enduring years of a circumstance or situation that you have had no reprieve?  You have prayed and prayed and it seems as if the heavens are but brass.  It is like you hit a ceiling so hard that nothing can penetrate it.  You too like this father have hit an all time low and depression has sent in.  It is like your closest friend right now.  It is hard to be optimistic.  Ever day you try to put on your happy face, but inside you are full of despair, hopelessness, disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment.  The good news is that Jesus is there for you.  He came to set the captives free, give sight to the blind and to remove all oppression (Luke 4:18).  He came to destroy the works of the devil (Acts 10:38).  He knows this is a tough season for you and he has been right next to you.  Although the season seems dark, there is a new dawn of light in the distance.  He is bringing healing in his wings.  It will bring hope and restoration to your soul.  Faith is rising in your heart.   

Then Jesus then rebuked the spirit and the boy became whole again.  The father now had hope.  His life and life of his child was restored.  The darkness began to lift along with the depression, despair, hopelessness, disappointment, disillusionment and discouragement.  May the God of all glory show you his goodness and mercy and deliver you from your circumstances.  May Jesus show you his might and power and destroy the works of the devil so that you may be made whole.





Thursday, October 18, 2012

Looks Can Be Deceiving


"But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

The Prophet Samuel was sent to find the new king for Israel.  He was sent to the house of Jesse who had eight sons.  When Samuel arrived, his father presented him with only seven of his sons.  He saw Eliab and thought surely this is the Lord's anointed, but the Lord spoke to him and said "Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him.  For the Lord sees not as man sees:  man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."  

Clearly, Eliab was tall in stature, good looking and strong.  He seemed to be the perfect choice outwardly.  He was probably the first born as well.  However, God did not choose him.  As a matter of fact, Jesse presented all of his sons, but his youngest.  He surely thought that it had to be one of the seven.  Even his father did not think it could be his youngest son.  However, God chose the most unlikely.  He chose the youngest son who was tending the sheep.  He had a ruddy appearance and had handsome features.  But compared to his brothers he was not as tall in stature.  He was being prepared for what God had for him.  He was busy doing what God had planned.  He was going to rule over Israel and need to know how to tend to sheep and watch over the flock that God was about to give him.  He was being prepared for battle to defeat those who would try and kill the flock he was watching over.  He was in training by learning to kill a bear and a lion that tried to kill the sheep.  He was out seeking the God of Israel learning to trust in him to give him wisdom, strength and power.

Do you ever think the same way too?  You look at someone and think, hey this one is the one who is going to be a great leader.  Like Samuel and Jesse, we see their stature, good looks and how they carry themselves.  They are charismatic.  They seem to have it all.  They are the perfect person outwardly.   But think about people who outwardly seemed perfect for the calling, but we find out later that they were liars and cheats.  They were doing evil and living ungodly lives.  They were disobedient and prideful.  It was brought to the light.  We were deceived by their outward appearance.    

We are told in 1 Corinthians 11:31 "if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged."  We are also told in Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with what measure you use, it will be measured to you."  However, God still expects us not to walk around blindly and not judge anything.  He tells us we are to judge the others by their fruit (Matthew 7:16).  It is important to observe how they are living not what they look like.  People can be charismatic and draw you away from the truth.  People can be generous but with wrong intent of heart to lead you away.  People can be kind to get their way with you.  We need to be careful and know if whether or not the person is bearing fruit that is good or bad (Matthew 7:15-20).  God tells us to ask the ability to discern.  He also tells us in Luke 6:45 that "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."  

Wisdom and a discerning spirit are required to observe the fruit of others.  We need not to be quick to judge them based upon their outward appearance, but be willing to judge them on their fruit.  Also we need to judge ourselves rightly to see where our heart is.  We need to listen to what they are speaking and divide the truth with the word of God.  

May the Lord gives us all the ability to discern and not be deceived by the looks of others.

     

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Living God


"But what about you?" he asked, "Who do you say I am?"  Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the son of the living God."  Matthew 16:15-16

Have you encountered the living God?  Have you encountered that moment when you realized that Jesus is the Christ and the son of the living God?  That Jesus is alive? The God of Abraham, the God of Jacob and the God of Isaac, the living God.  He is alive today sitting on the throne of Grace with Jesus, his son at his right side.  

Saul who became Paul had such an encounter.  He was a religious leader.  He was a Pharisee and had studied much of the law.  He thought he knew God and what God wanted.  He just watched Stephen, a servant of God and a Christian being stoned to death.   He took great pride and joy in his religious beliefs and that he was gaining ground in defeating those who believed in Jesus as the Messiah.  He even thought he was doing God a service by killing these Christians. As he was heading to Damascus, he had a God encountered.  God spoke to him in the midst of a bright light in the desert and asked him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"  Saul being perplexed asked, "who are you Lord?"  Jesus then reveals to him, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting."  He encountered the living God.  He met the God of all glory, full of power and might.  

Have you meant this God?  As for me, I meant him 12 years ago.  I knew of Jesus.  I knew that he was one who died to bring salvation.  I knew that it was wrong to speak against him.  However up until that point, I did not encounter this personal God. Out of his great mercy towards me and my lack of desire to find him, he meant me in the valley.  It was the valley where I had two little kids and a stressful job, a marriage on the rocks and no strength left.  My kids were not sleeping through the night.  I was exhausted and tired.  I had a full time job in sales that was extremely stressful and demanding.  I had clients that I had to meet with all over Southern California.  I could not handle the pressure and demand  any more of the job, family and marriage.  It was beyond what I could bear.  God meant me on my road to Damascus and  he revealed himself to me.  I knew it was a God encountered.  He told me "Anna, do not leave."  I knew in my heart that I was not to run or flee, but to stay. It was not going to be an easy road, but I knew that God was with me.  

God also spoke to both my husband and I that we would also have another child.  His name would be Matthew Timothy.  Although we had two beautiful children a perfect match with one girl and one boy, God had another plan that he wanted to entrust us with.  He wanted us to have another child, a boy.  Within a month, I was pregnant and had my son on my birthday which was March 13th.  I hesitated in naming him Matthew, because my sister lost her husband whose name was Matthew to cancer when he was 33 years old.  At the time, I did not know that Matthew meant a gift from God and Timothy meant fear of God.  However, it his name was significant.  He knew that this would be a reminder of God and his promises.

I would love to tell you things became easier, but the road was one of transformation.  God was doing a deeper work in my life.  It was one to bring healing to my broken heart, restoration of the hurt pain disappointment and distrust.  He was taking my broken vessel and making me new.  He was renewing me into his image and glory.  He was fashioning my days to give me a hope and a future.  Although the road has been bumpy, I know that God will not let me be snatched out of his hands.  Although I have failed in many ways, I know he will redeem me and restore those areas.  He through it all is showing me his love, kindness, goodness, mercy, grace and the ability to humble myself before the mighty hand of God.  

My hope is that you will encounter the living God.  The one whose goodness brings you to repentance.  The one who extends his grace and mercy and the one who heals those areas of brokenness.  May you experience His great love and power.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hope in the Midst


"To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."  Colossians 1:27

Hope is what we all are in need of.  We need hope in our times of struggle.  Hope in the midst of adversity.  Hope now.  We need a hope that will last.  One that is not here today and gone tomorrow.  Jesus told us that we will have trials and tribulations in this world. He knew we would need hope beyond our current circumstances.  He knew that we would need one that would last eternally.  

Many today are experiencing dyer circumstances. Some have health issues that are devastating.  Others had just experienced a loss of a loved one.  Some are in need of food.  While others are having financial difficulties.  Some have been betrayed by those close to them.  Then there are those struggling with addictions like alcohol, drugs or sexual immorality such as pornography.  It seems as if there is no peace and no hope for the circumstances.  It is a heavy weight that seems to hard to bear.  It can lead to despair, loss of hope and even thoughts of death.  It brings sorrow and pain.  But there is a hope.  It is one that is beyond what this world offers.  It is one that will bring life back.  It is a source of restoration and rejuvenation.  It is like finding that well of water that springs forth life in a dry and thirsty land.  This hope is Christ Jesus.

Jesus is the hope of glory.  He is the one who came to bring life and life abundantly.  He died so that you may life and a hope that not only is for the here and now but one that brings forth eternal life  God made the glorious riches known which were a mystery.  He sent his one and only son to die for us that we may have hope again.  He can forgive you of your sins and bring hope back into your life.

When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are now born of God and all old things have passed away and all things have become new.  You are a new person in Christ Jesus and adopted into the family of God.  He has plans for you to prosper you and not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future.  He has put eternity into your hearts to give you hope beyond what you have here and now.  He has given you part of him, the Holy Spirit which is our Emmanuel - God with us.  He promise is that  he near to us when we are brokenhearted and there to comfort us in our time of need.  He is there to set us free and bring healing and deliverance.  

Today may you experience Him, Christ Jesus, who is our hope in the midst!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Trust in the Lord


"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord sounds easy to do.  However, sometimes when we try to walk out in faith trusting in God, we see our weaknesses.  We see that when we pray and if the prayer is answered quickly, we begin to doubt.  In Matthew 7:8 assures us that "For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."  

Sometimes, we have to get beyond what we can see and believe in our heart that God is able to do it.  We can claim God's promises all that we want, but this truth has to move from head knowledge to heart knowledge.  It has to move from being a promise into an assurance for us.  So revelation has to come into our hearts to bring trust.  

Psalm 118:8 tells us that" it is better to trust in God than to put confidence in man."  Sometimes we look to man to be a solver of our problems.  When we do this, we tend to get off track from the truth.  Our greatest weakness in trust has come in when others have failed us.   This has usually caused us to relate God to man.  Those people who have failed us and broke our trust have caused us to feel like we have to always fix our problems with nobody's help.  This only leads us away from trusting God.  We look for ways to fix our problems rather than seek the one who can help us solve our problems.  I am not saying to not do anything, but when we seek God first in the situation, he will direct our paths.  He will give us the sure path to resolve the problem.  

How do you know if you don't trust God.  I have found when I find myself in a position of worry, I have found my lack of trusting in God.  I could even look back on my life and see where man has failed me in those areas.  The weakness begins to show up when those problems arise.  It is an area where God wants to come in and to bring healing and restoration of trust.  He wants to show you that he is bigger than your problem and able to show you how you can trust in him.  God wants you to trust him and to become your everything.  It is bringing us from self reliance to dependency on God.  

So today as you are going about life may God bring you into that place of trusting in him fully.

Healing Scriptures




Healing Scriptures
Exodus 15:26 "I will put none of these diseases upon thee...for I am the LORD that healeth thee."
Deuteronomy 7:14-15 ". . .there shall not be male or female barren among you....
And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of

the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee."

Psalms 25:20 "O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put
my trust in thee." my countenance, and my God." the noisome pestilence."

Psalms 107:20 "He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from
their destructions."

Proverbs 3:7-8 "Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from
evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones."

Proverbs 4:20-22 "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my
sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine
heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."

Isaiah 40:29 "He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he
increaseth strength."

Isaiah 53:4-5 "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we
did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for
our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our
peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

Isaiah 57:19 "Peace, peace to him that is far off, and to him that is near, saith the
LORD; and I will heal him."

Jeremiah 17:14 "Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall
be saved: for thou art my praise."

Jeremiah 33:6 "Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will
reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth."

Mark 11:24 "Therefore I say unto you, All things whatsoever ye pray and ask for,
believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."

Mark 16:17-18 "And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name
shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up
serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they
shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Luke 10:19 "Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall in any wise
hurt you."

Romans 8:2 "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free
from the law of sin and death."

Romans 8:11 "He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your
mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you."

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of
love, and of a sound mind."


James 5:14-16 "Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church;
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and
the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and
if he have committed sins, it shall be forgiven him. Confess therefore your sins
one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The
supplication of a righteous man availeth much in its working."

James 5:16 "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that
ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth
much."

1 John 3:8 "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might
destroy the works of the devil."

3 John 1:2 "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in
health, even as thy soul prospereth."



Psalm 91:16 "With long life will I satisfy him, And show him my salvation."
Psalms 103:3 "Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;"
Psalms 116:10 "I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted."
Psalms 121:2 "My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth."
Isaiah 40:31 "They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength."
Jeremiah 30:17 "I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds."
Matthew 8:17 "Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses."
Romans 8:26 "The Spirit also helps our infirmities."
1 Peter 2:24 "By whose stripes ye were healed."

Friday, October 5, 2012

God's Goodness


"You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment? Or despise you the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?"  Romans 2:1-4

This part of Chapter 2 in Romans was explaining to the Romans that the Gentiles were given over to sin, but also that the Jews practiced the same thing.  Both were headed on a path where they needed salvation. God was making a way for both the Jews and the Gentiles to come into salvation through Jesus Christ, his Son.  

The good news of the gospel is that God sent his one and only Son to die for your sins.  He gave you a way to repent (turn away) from your sins and to come into fellowship with the Father.  He provided a way to enter into the kingdom of God.  His goodness is what leads us to repentance.  When we see how God loved us so much that he would be willing to sacrifice his only Son so that he would have many sons and daughters because of what He did.  He was kind, tolerant, long-suffering and forbearing all that wrongs that we have done.  He provided a way for righteous judgment to not come against us.  For those that turn to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, we will be spared, but to those who do not receive him they will be condemned.

So when you see those who are lost, we must see them with the eyes of Jesus.  We must see how much God the Father loves them that He sent his one and only Son to die for them.  We should be praying that the Lord would show them his goodness that leads to repentance.  We should not be praying prayers of judgment asking the Lord to show them how bad they are.  This profits nothing.  Had it not been for God's goodness towards us we too would be headed down the path of destruction.  He spared us and died for us when yet we were sinners.  God desires that all men and women be saved and come to the full knowledge of him.

May the God of all glory show his goodness to those who need salvation today.  May this goodness lead them to repentance in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

God's Love


"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13

The greatest gift God has ever given us is love.  He laid down his life for us so that we may have a better inheritance than what this world offers.  Jesus died so that we might have life through him.  It is beyond what we can fathom or think.  John 3:16 tells us "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."  Eternal life is the promise for those who believe in Jesus Christ.  

1 John 4:9-10 confirms this truth by sharing "This is how God showed his love among us; He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."  God's demonstrated his great love for us by allowing his Son to atone our sins through his shed blood at calvary.  He paid the price to redeem us from eternal destruction.  He took our place.  We deserved death, but the good news of the gospel is that he died so that we may have eternal life.  

He not only redeem us and brought us back with the precious blood of Jesus, but he also came to justify us.  He paid the penalty for all of our sins so it is an if just if did not sin.  What he did removes our guilt stained conscious so that we may have fellowship with him.  He also came to sanctify us as well.  Just as he was sent apart for God, so shall we be.  This sanctification removes us from those worldly things and sins that keep us from walking in all the fullness God has for us.  He knows that sin separates us from him and that the wages of sin brings death.  He desires what is best for us that is why he will show us how to live a godly life to overcome sin.  When we are sanctified then we are able to be transformed in our minds to hold his thoughts and attitudes.  It gives us faith, hope, peace and love and this brings about his glory.  

God loved you so much that he sent his one and only Son to pay for your sins.  He laid down his life freely so that you could be restored to fellowship with God and has the assurance of eternal life.  May you see his great love for you.